DETROIT, Mich. — On an afternoon where one of the NFL’s all-time greats, Calvin Johnson, was being honored with his Hall of Fame ring ceremony, Detroit Lions fans expressed their frustration with ownership by mercilessly booing team owner Sheila Ford Hamp.
During halftime of the game vs. the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Ford Hamp was trying to congratulate the legendary Lions receiver, but was showered with boos that were louder than those the visiting Ravens received when they ran onto the field.
Johnson seemed a bit uncomfortable at first as he tried to quiet the boos by pushing his hands to the ground with a hand gesture while also remaining professional in his Hall of Fame gold jacket.
“Lions fans? Isn’t it great to have Calvin Johnson here in Ford Field,” Ford Hamp asked while speaking over the crowd. “Calvin, witnessing your amazing career was an honor and a privilege and my family and I want to thank you for all you’ve done for the Detroit Lions and the many memories you’ve given our fans. We are really thrilled with your enshrinement into the Hall of Fame and it’s so well-deserved.”
Despite his sour relationship with the organization after being forced to pay back a little more than $1 million to the Lions upon his retirement after the 2015 season, Johnson returned to Ford Field to receive his ring.
The money was part of the signing bonus he had been given at the start of his final contract.
“It’s an honor to represent excellence and everything that the Hall of Fame stands for,” Johnson said on the field. “It’s an honor to represent Detroit, I love you guys. And it’s an honor to represent the NFL and the Johnson name on my back. I love you guys. I love the energy that y’all brought every Sunday. I miss you guys and I look forward to great things in the future here in Detroit.”
Detroit played a 3-minute video honoring Johnson’s career with remarks from current players and highlight footage. His Hall of Fame bust was on display at Ford Field for fans to take photos with ahead of the kickoff.